Wrestle Respawn – My Ideal WrestleMania 40 Card

WrestleMania 40 is looming, and there are plenty of matches to book. Over the past few months, WWE have teased numerous matchups. All in all it should be an exceptional card, given the array of available talent! With nothing confirmed at the time of writing, I have free reigns to book WrestleMania 40 however I want, within reason of course.

With this ideal match card, I’m doing what is possible (so no returns from retirement or sudden AEW signings etc). As I said though – due to no matches being booked yet – I can book what I want, so here we go!

 

Night 1

Ladder Match – United States Championship: Kevin Owens (C) v Austin Theory v Grayson Waller v AJ Styles v Bobby Lashley v Bronson Reed v Dragon Lee v Logan Paul

Unfortunately, the opening to night one of WrestleMania 39 was disappointing. Unfortunately, John Cena and Austin Theory kicked off WrestleMania 39 in underwhelming circumstance. Let’s write that wrong and instead begin with a superb multi-man ladder match, like those which kicked off WrestleMania’s 31 and 32!

Dragon Lee, Styles and Paul will provide high-flying action and some exciting spots. Theory and Waller could provide an interesting team dynamic… until one turns on the other. Owens will probably hold the title by this point and has plenty of experience in these kind of matches. As for Reed, I want him in this match as the big guy despite being from Raw – imagine him doing a Tsunami off a ladder… or onto a ladder! To have Lashley miss out on back-to-back WrestleMania’s would also be ridiculous.

Owens or Waller should probably win this. Waller could turn on Theory as previously mentioned and that ends their partnership, perhaps culminating in a feud for the belt. Otherwise, Owens is a star who can raise the aura of the title and put on consistently fantastic matches for it, like John Cena in 2015.

 

Sami Zayn v Shinsuke Nakamura

A bout between these two would be ideal simply because both need a match on the WrestleMania 40 card. Both are main event players on the Raw roster, and Zayn obviously main-evented WrestleMania 39 Night 1; his exceptional 2023 proved he needs to have a significant WrestleMania match

Both guys have history! This includes their alliance in 2019 and their brilliant feud in NXT.. Zayn and Nakamura should then have a solid 15-minute match. I think either of them could win here, although a Zayn win could begin a hunt for his first ever world title in WWE. Although, Nakamura had yet to win a WrestleMania match: safe to say he deserves one.

 

Gunther v Brock Lesnar

So why isn’t Gunther the Intercontinental Champion by WrestleMania 40? I want Gunther’s record-breaking reign to end prior to this… against none other than Sheamus! I’d for Gunther to enter the Elimination Chamber as champion and open the contest against Sheamus. Then have the duo as the final two also, with Sheamus claiming the belt. Following this, we’ve wanted Gunther and Lesnar to battle since the 2023 Royal Rumble.

This is the kind of match where you just want to see two men delivering hefty blows to each other, from Gunther with his iconic chops and powerbombs, to Lesnar with elbows, knees and German suplexes. Gunther should win this too; not long after this he should chase the World Heavyweight Championship (and win it). You could have Gunther put the Intercontinental Championship on the line here if he still has it and it wouldn’t damage Sheamus’ upcoming match too much.

 

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship – Katana Chance/Kayden Carter (C) v Kabuki Warriors

Recently, Chance and Carter were able to win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships! This is a fantastic choice simply because they’re a genuine tag team. Alongside this the duo are incredibly charismatic; their characters could develop further from here. Between now and WrestleMania we could see the duo face some of what Raw has to offer, and as such I’d love for this bout to be saved for WrestleMania 40!

Between now and then I’d love for both teams to build some momentum. The Kabuki Warriors can start by emerging victorious from a lengthy feud with Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn. I also think the likes of Michin and Zelina Vega alongside Bayley and Dakota Kai (if she’s cleared) could keep them occupied for a few months.

Picking a winner is certainly difficult, especially because I already have a couple of titles switching hands at WrestleMania 40. As such I want to stick with Chance and Carter as the tag team champions for a while. I wouldn’t even mind it if these two teams battled for months on end and kept yo-yoing the belts.

 

Santos Escobar v Rey Mysterio

How can you establish Escobar as a top heel in WWE? Have him retire Rey of course! Now there’s no doubt that Rey can still go in the ring, but he’s 49-years-old. If you really want to raise the stakes of this bout, this could be a superb move to take… if he wants to hang his boots up his boots.

I can sense shenanigans galore in this match. On Rey’s side, the LWO (Carlito, Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde); on the side of Santos, Angel Garza, Humberto Carrilo and… Dominik Mysterio! Imagine Dominik blindsiding his father allowing Escobar to roll him and force him into retirement, that would be insane.

Whether or not this a retirement match, Escobar should absolutely go over. Rey doesn’t need this victory; Escobar need a significant win. In a world where WWE has so many popular babyfaces, they absolutely need more top heels to match.

 

Women’s World Championship – Rhea Ripley (C) v Becky Lynch v Liv Morgan

Most people will agree that Rhea has hardly had a genuine threat to her title reign thus far. Alas, introduce the extremely popular faces of Becky and Liv. This could very well be the first time Rhea’s reign is truly at risk and this should make for one hell of a triple threat! Becky has been teased here and there as a potential opponent for the Aussie star, whereas Liv has lots of history with Ripley. This included both of their terrific displays in the 2023 Women’s Royal Rumble, alongside a brief tag team in 2022.

Rhea shouldn’t be losing this in my opinion. While I’d like for her to lose to Liv down the line, she should absolutely retain here as a significant victory on her record.

 

World Heavyweight Championship – Seth Rollins (C) v CM Punk

This is a money-making main event for Night One, so much so that it seems that’s the plan already. Both have legitimate heat; both want that WrestleMania main event. Everything has been building to one outcome: I for one can’t wait to see this contest!

Picking a winner for this bout is incredibly difficult. Having Rollins lose and either resulting in a heel turn or handshake could be intriguing, or could Damian Priest/Finn Balor cash in on the next Raw? Who knows!

I would opt for a Punk win, especially because we don’t need yet another title reign lasting over one year, in what is becoming a recurring pattern in WWE. Plus, this would finally give Rollins some well-deserved time off.

 

Night 2

Intercontinental Championship – Sheamus (C) v Drew McIntyre

From here, McIntyre is the obvious opponent. While we’ve seen McIntyre as the face and Sheamus as the heel more than once, a role-reversal could add some depth to this fued. Sheamus and McIntyre guarantee an impressive 15-20 minute match, so why not book it?

Expect a heavy-hitting affair with more emotion than ever. McIntyre is desperate for a title win in kayfabe, so maybe he resorts to dastardly means here to try and capture the belt. This feud has the potential to last three or four Premium Live Events too, so either man could win. My only concern here is that McIntyre could lose yet another consecutive championship match? So if this was to happen – and McIntyre was to be defeated – it would require near-perfect booking.

 

Bianca Belair v Jade Cargill

Originally it was thought that either Cargill or Belair would face Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 40. With Flair’s injury taking her out of action indefinitely, this is the most logical option. With Cargill still yet to debut, one would predict her to make a first appearance at the Royal Rumble. Perhaps from there she’s eliminated by Belair herself or vice versa. Then we should Cargill as a heel, a role in which she has significantly more experience in being. For the two months leading up to WrestleMania 40, have tensions between the two brew until this clash.

Cargill debuting at the Royal Rumble allows her to be established as a heel prior to WrestleMania. Cargill’s first match being at WrestleMania could be detrimental to Belair, with the fans perhaps booing Belair over the new star. I also believe Cargill should win this, ending Belair’s WrestleMania win streak and establishing her as a star simultaneously.

 

Street Fight – Jey Uso v Jimmy Uso

Alas, for the first time in WWE, Jimmy and Jey will face each other, and there’s no grander stage for this contest than the grandest stage. This has of course been teased since all the way back at SummerSlam when Jimmy cost Jey in his match with Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Since then, there’s been bad blood brewing, with Jey relishing an opportunity to get back at his brother. Tribal Combat was a stipulation in consideration, although it quickly unravelled at SummerSlam in 2023.So having this as a street fight seemed like the perfect way emphasise the tensions between both that have brewed since August.

Logically Jey should win this as a revenge arc for the damage Jimmy caused. However, a Jimmy win could be the perfect excuse for a rematch. If the feud continues later into 2024 speaking of which, Hell in a Cell could be a great shout.

 

WWE Tag Team Championships – Judgement Day (C) v DIY v Pretty Deadly v Street Profits

I forget just how many exciting tag teams the WWE currently have! It was incredibly difficult to pick teams to compete for the WWE Tag Team Championships. From Diamond Mine to the Authors of Pain to Alpha Academy, they’ll unfortunately be lost in the shuffle in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal instead.

Damian Priest and Finn Balor of the Judgement Day could feasibly hold the belts until WrestleMania 40. As for challengers, the Street Profits have proven themselves at WWE’s flagship PLE. DIY can use this storyline to build their popularity too, and I just find Pretty Deadly too entertaining to not include on the card.

 

Randy Orton v L.A Knight

Despite their current storyling involving Roman Reigns, they’ve yet to wrestle one-on-one. After both have fallen to Reigns at the Royal Rumble, have them work together against the Bloodline until tensions flare. Then a match between the two highly popular wrestlers at WrestleMania 40. Simple!

Knight deserves a WrestleMania match following his meteoric rise in popularity in 2023, and Orton seems suitable opponent due to their current places on the SmackDown card. Knight should come away from this as the winner because he deserves a big Premium Live Event win and Orton wouldn’t be damaged at all from a loss.

Styles and Knight are somewhat interchangeable here. I’d love to see the dynamic between Owens and Knight in the ladder match alongside another Styles and Orton match at WrestleMania. However, this outcome seems more plausible.

 

WWE Women’s Championship – Iyo Sky (C) v Bayley

For every Royal Rumble prediction I’ve seen, it has been Bayley to win the Women’s match. It’s difficult to argue against it, because the story has been brewing for months. Bayley aims to restore her reputation as one of the best women in the division, rather than simply a hype woman for Iyo.

If you needed more convincing, she’s getting fantastic crowd reactions, with a baybface turn seeming imminent. Thus giving her this match against Iyo is a wonderful way to conclude this sage. Bayley should win too: Iyo will have had a lengthy reign by this point that establishes her as a main player in the WWE women’s division, so why not give Bayley another reign? You also have to go back to 2019 to last see Bayley as a babyface – it’ll be refreshing!

On another note, imagine a Sasha Banks return at WrestleMania 40, helping Bayley fend off the Kabuki Warriors.

 

“I Quit” Match – Undisputed WWE Universal Championship – Roman Reigns (C) v Cody Rhodes

Perhaps the most obvious match which WWE are going to book on the grandest stage. Not long ago WWE teased Rhodes v Reigns 2, with an intense stare down on Smackdown back in October. WWE have evidently planted the seeds, and despite the recent returns of several massive stars, I still want this! A lot has changed from WrestleMania 39 to now, which makes this match a different entity. Rhodes has battled Brock Lesnar and the Judgement Day, overcoming the adversity. As for Reigns, his rare title matches have created a growing desire for his 1000 plus day reign to end.

Rumours have circulated of the ‘I Quit’ stipulation being added, and I love the sound of it! This means that if Reigns loses, he won’t be pinned, and if WWE are serious about building him back up as a babyface in the future, this is fuel to said fire. I think the finish must be done perfectly or the stipulation backfires, but this should be the main event for night two.

Which matches would you like to see booked for The Grandest Stage of Them All? Be sure to let us know!

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